Despite our best efforts to keep items out of view and protect our vehicles, plenty of car break-ins and forms of vandalism occur every single year. Whenever the economy is in rough shape, this art of thieves becomes even more common as people attempt to make ends meet in one of the worst ways. Even though your car being stolen is a rare likelihood, you may find yourself becoming the victim of a thief who busted into the car in search of a wallet, electronics or cash. Even if you do a good job of hiding your valuables when away from the vehicle, it sometimes is not enough to deter them.
Usually, a car window or side piece of auto glass is the most common entry point for a thief. This can leave your auto glass damaged or destroyed, but many auto glass shops can quickly repair any damages associated with vandalism. Whether this is something that just happened or you simply want to be prepared in the event that it does, you’ll find the following advice to be helpful in a situation where your car has been broken into.
Call the Police
It is always imperative that the first step you take upon discovering vandalism to your car is to call the authorities. Law enforcement may ask that you file a police report before they can proceed any further, and an officer will come to the scene to take your statement. Unfortunately, there is often very little that local law enforcement can do in this regard – burglars leave very little behind that can be used against them in most cases. Still, this is necessary so as to have a record of the incident in case the insurance company tries to fight your claim. They have been known to do this in cases of vandalism, but a police report will help minimize the likelihood of having to go through such an event.
Call a Shop
In your area, there are probably plenty of different auto glass repair shops available, but it can be stressful to compare each one during a time like this. The police officer that responds to your call may have the name of an auto glass technician that they recommend, but you should always do a bit of comparison shopping before you commit. A quick search from your mobile phone will give you the names, numbers, and details of each shop. After you have found the shop that you believe is best equipped to handle your repairs, then and only then should you initiate contact.
Call Your Insurer
With the two biggest elements of repair and reporting out of the way, it is now time to alert your insurance company. Your insurance company will be able to provide you with information about any out of pocket costs and also assist you with filing claims that cover any items that were stolen from the vehicle. By calling the company before you file a claim, you will ensure that there is a record of contact and that will again help your chances in the event there is a dispute. It’s also a good way to help keep records on your own end for future reference.
Deal with the Damage
In each case, the vandalism may leave different problems. You’ll need to call your financial institutions in the event that any credit cards or debit cards have been stolen. With any keys or identification that were taken, it’s a good idea to change your locks. If your ID is missing, then you’ll have to obtain a new one. Also, any theft of mobile devices or items under contract should be reported missing as well, which will allow service contracts to be canceled and the devices are frozen.
Repairing Wait Times
If your window is only damaged and not completely busted, then an auto glass technician may be able to repair the damage in around a half-hour. If the entire window has to be replaced, however, then you may need to allow up to two hours for the repairs. Even once the glass is installed (if it is your windshield), you’ll need to give it time to cure so that a proper fit is achieved. All in all, auto glass technicians will work hard to finish the job in as little time as possible and get you out of this terrible situation.
If your car has suffered a break-in and your auto glass is damaged, then acting as soon as possible is necessary to have the repairs performed quickly and guarantee that your claim will be covered. Make sure to call the police first and foremost, and then call an auto glass repair shop to have the repairs made. Once these two calls have been handled, you’ll then want to call your bank, auto insurance company and any other entities that are affected by stolen items from your vehicle. By keeping valuables out of sight and parking near well-lit or traveled spaces, you’ll be able to minimize the likelihood of such an event in the future.